Principles & Structure

Founded in 2020, TRUST is an anti-racist, democratically governed, member-led coalition of U.S. transit rider unions focused on grassroots organizing for rider power.

TRUST Meetings of the Whole are open to the public and occur via Zoom on a monthly basis, typically on the last Friday of the month. You can join our Google Group to get e-mail updates.

TRUST’s Initiative Committee (IC) meets monthly to plan Meetings of the Whole and manage the affairs of the organization. The IC is elected on an annual basis by TRUST members.

2022-2023 Initiative Committee members include:

Laura Chu Wiens, Pittsburghers for Public Transit

Bakari Height, MARTA Army (Atlanta, GA)

Susan Hurley, Chicago Jobs with Justice

Anthony Lanzilotti, Delaware Valley Rail Passengers Association

Akshai Singh, Clevelanders for Public Transit

Jeffrey Tardaguila, Sacramento Transit Riders Union

Carmen Ybarra, Better Buses Together (Asheville, NC)

TRUST’s governing bylaws may be viewed here. They empower the Initiative Committee to hire staff to do the day-to-day work of the organization. TRUST currently has two part-time co-coordinators, based in New York City and Detroit.


image: Joel Batterman stands at a bus stop.

Joel Batterman (he/him) grew up in Michigan, went to college in Oregon, and returned to the Great Lakes State hoping to bring more public transit to America’s automotive heartland. In addition to his work with TRUST, he works for Detroit’s Transportation Riders United, and has experience organizing with MOSES, the Motor City Freedom Riders, and the Graduate Employees Organization, among other groups. He lives in Detroit with his wife, cat, and son.

Talia Crawford (she/her) grew up in New York City and graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec with a BA in Political Science and minors in Geography and Communications. Talia gained a strong interest in local government and community development through her experience working for NY State Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, where she was first exposed to transportation policy at the local level. She has worked on implementing protected bike lanes in needed areas and ensuring that community members’ voices are elevated. Talia has also worked with the NY Working Families Party. Currently she works as the Advocacy and Organizing Manager at Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

Principles of Transit Riders of the United States Together (TRUST)

Drafted April 2020

We are an anti-racist, democratic, member-led coalition of U.S. transit riders unions focused on grassroots organizing for rider power:

  • Comprised of organizations led by and centering the voices of the poor and working-class transit riders, operating independently of transit agencies.
  • Committed to achieving safe, equitable, reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable transit accessible to all.
  • Committed to living wages, safe working conditions, and union rights for transit workers.
  • Committed to a complete transit system that meets the needs of each community with no community left out. A complete system includes a paratransit system that fully meets the needs of workers and riders.
  • Committed to the expansion and improvement of transit service, including high-capacity transit, but not at the expense of historically divested communities and fixed-route bus riders.
  • Committed to securing dedicated and sustainable funding for public transit at the local, state, and federal level, equitably shared by those able to pay rather than on the backs of riders.
  • Committed to working in coalition with other groups committed to racial, social, economic, and environmental justice in a way that sees transit justice as connected to struggles for fair healthcare, affordable housing, clean air and water and a livable planet, and decent work and wages for all.  

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